Is it possible to pressure wash an AC unit? This is a question many people, especially homeowners, ask. Air conditioning units provide a wealth of comfort in the summer season. But, like other appliances, AC units also get dirty or dusty over time. Proper cleaning and maintenance can help prolong the lifespan of an AC unit, though not everyone uses a pressure washer as their first choice.
Why You Should Pressure Wash an AC Unit?
Air conditioners offer plenty of benefits, which is why most households use them. Air conditioners keep temperatures cool inside homes and buildings, making occupants feel comfortable on hot days. AC units also contribute to better indoor air quality, reduce the number of pests, and control humidity. Plus, people tend to be more productive in a cool space and can sleep better at night.
Air conditioners are also expensive. Thus, caring for them and performing routine maintenance is important to prolong their lifespan. In doing so, you can protect your investment.
A big part of proper maintenance is cleaning. A dirty AC unit can lead to several problems. When dirt and debris clog your unit, it stops functioning efficiently. The unit will be forced to work harder but with poorer results. Breakdowns are inevitable when you overwork your air conditioner and allow it to deteriorate. Cleaning your AC unit regularly can prevent premature wear and tear, saving you money on repairs.
Can You Pressure Wash an Air Conditioner?
One way to clean your AC unit is to do it the old-fashioned way — with a rag and a bucket of water. This method, though, can take a lot of time and energy. If you want to clean your air conditioner in a more efficient manner, a pressure washer will come in handy.
You can generally pressure wash an AC unit, but it is important to use a lower pressure level. If you use high water pressure for cleaning aircon units, you might damage the condenser and coils. When pressure washing your AC, make sure to do so with care and caution.
Air conditioners come in different types. There’s the window type, where the whole unit comes as one. And then there’s the type where the unit is located outside while the actual cooling component is indoors. Examples of the latter include split-type AC units and centralized AC systems.
How Do You Pressure Wash an Aircon?
Here are some tips when pressure washing an AC unit.
1. Turn Off the AC and Remove the Covers
First, turn off the air conditioner. Water and electricity should never mix, so ensure your AC is off to prevent accidents. If you’re cleaning a window AC unit, you must remove the entire unit from the window. For outside units, you will have to remove the covers, which may require the use of a screwdriver.
2. Trim the Surrounding Areas
It’s important to trim the surrounding grass or weeds for outside AC units. Vegetation can block the airflow and hinder the efficiency of the unit. By clearing the grass and bushes that border it, you’re giving the unit more room to function properly.
3. Follow the Manufacturer’s Guidelines
Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when performing maintenance. There may be step-by-step instructions for disassembling the unit or certain products that you should never use to clean it. You will usually find the manufacturer’s guidelines on the side or back of the unit. If it comes with a manual, the guidelines should be on there, too.
4. Use Low-Pressure Water
As previously mentioned, AC units can be very fragile. For this reason, you should only use low-pressure water to clean them. Make sure to accompany that with a wider nozzle, too. If you don’t have a pressure washer, you can also use a garden hose.
So what’s the best PSI to pressure wash an AC unit with? You should work with 1400-1450 PSI to be sure you don’t damage anything.
When you pressure wash an AC, make sure to keep a good distance between the wand and the AC unit. Getting too close may also increase the pressure level.
5. Work in Sections
When it comes to how to use a pressure washer to clean an air conditioner, it’s best to work in sections. Wash the AC unit by guiding the wand tip up and down the back of the unit along the steel condenser coils. Do this from one side to another.
Once the water comes out clean, you can move on to the top and underside of the AC unit. Don’t wash the expanding curtains on either side of the unit, though, as those are very fragile. Finally, wash the covers of the AC units that you removed earlier.
What Is the Best Pressure Washer for Air Conditioners?
Go for pressure washers with a maximum force of 100 bar. This is equivalent to 1450 PSI. This type of pressure washer is great for small-scale jobs like cleaning AC units, bikes, cars, and even garden furniture.
There are many types of pressure washers available on the market today. If you plan to use pressure washers regularly, investing in one is a good idea. But, if you only intend to use it a few times, it’s better to rent one from your local home improvement store. A portable pressure washer best suits residential cleanings.
Pressure washing an AC unit comes with challenges, though. One small misstep can damage the unit and its parts, leading to costly repairs. As such, consider hiring a professional to clean your air conditioner instead.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you pressure wash a window AC unit?
You can pressure wash a window AC unit using low water pressure. A lower PSI level is gentler and less likely to result in any damage. It’s best not to pressure wash the coils, though, as they don’t withstand high pressure very well. If you insist on pressure washing the coils, make sure to use low water pressure.
Can I pressure wash the outside of my AC unit?
Yes, you can pressure wash the outside of your AC unit. A pressure washer is an effective way to clean your air conditioner. To avoid damage, though, using a low PSI level is best. Alternatively, you can spray down your AC unit with a garden hose.
Can you pressure wash AC coils?
It is generally not advisable to pressure wash your AC coils. But, should you insist on pressure washing them, make sure to use low water pressure to prevent damage.
Word of Advice
While pressure-washing an AC is possible, you should always do so cautiously. Always start with a low PSI level when cleaning your AC with a pressure washer. This will allow you to clean the unit without damaging its parts. When in doubt, refer to the AC manufacturer’s guidelines.
Washh offers residential and commercial pressure washing services. Call us today at 704.321.8000 or contact us online to learn more!
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